Reservation to members of the scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) at the time of promotions cannot be sought as a matter of right but is subject to the available quantifiable data to justify it, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The apex court said no such benefit could be given without preparing proper data justifying reservation for the community.
"Reservation of posts in promotion is dependent on the inadequacy of representation of members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and backward classes and subject to the condition of ascertaining as to whether such reservation was at all required.
"The view of the high court is based on the decision in M Nagaraj’s case (supra) as no exercise was undertaken in terms of Article 16(4-A) to acquire quantifiable data regarding the inadequacy of representation of the schedule castes and scheduled tribes communities in public services," the apex court said.
A bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice AK Patnaik passed the judgment while dismissing a batch of appeals filed by certain SC, ST employees of Rajasthan challenging a decision of the state high court.
The high court had quashed the reservation extended to the members of the community in promotion on the ground that no such benefit could be granted.
Aggrieved by the high court's order the employee Suraj Bhan Meena and others had filed the SLP in the apex court.